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American and Canadian Studies: Keeping Up To Date

Subject support from Library Serrvices for staff and students in American and Canadian Studies

Table of Contents Alerts

 

 

Zetoc

Zetoc is a current awareness service created by the British Library and it gives access to over 29,000 journals and more than 52 million article citations and conference papers, from 1993 to present day. Zetoc is updated daily and it covers all subject areas.

Zetoc Alert

Zetoc Alert is a current awareness service that sends you email alerts matching the search criteria that you have provided whenever new data is loaded into the database. The searches may be for particular journals, for authors and for keywords from the titles of articles and papers.

For more information go to  http://zetoc.mimas.ac.uk

Keeping up to date

When you are doing research it is important to keep abreast of developments in your subject area.  There are a number of electronic tools which can help you do this.

Among them are:

  • Mailing lists (eg. JISCmail, http:www.jiscmail.ac.ukthe national academic mailing list system);
  • Email alerts (these are provided by most of the larger electronic indexing databases eg Web of Science);
  • RSS feeds (eg. Google Reader, Bloglines, etc.)

It is also worth attending conferences  where you can often hear about latest developments and make useful networks.

Setting up alerts on databases

A good example is to use one of the  Citation Indexes, on Web of Science eg Arts and Humanities Citation Index; Science Citation Index or Social Sciences Citation Index:

  • Do a couple of keyword searches on the most appropriate database

If you have been successful with a particular combination of keywords in finding the kind of references you want:

  • Click on SEARCH HISTORY at the top of the screen
  • Select the search from the list of searches you have done and click on SAVE HISTORY
  • This will prompt you to set up a private account with your e-mail address and a password
  • When you have done this, select SEND ME E-MAIL ALERTS and either the weekly or monthly frequency

You will then be sent a message notifying you whenever any new references appear on this database matching your search criteria. Most of the large databases have this facility.  You usually have to register your e-mail address and think of a personal username and password, and the alerting service is free of charge.

Academic Skills Advisor Appointments

Our Academic Skills Advisors aim to give you the confidence to use library and information resources independently to enhance your academic experience and achievement.

We can offer offer help in the following areas:

  • Introduction to library services and resources
  • Helping you to identify basic training in key databases and information sources in your subject area
  • Explanation of the principles of literature searching
  • Troubleshooting complex/systematic literature reviews
  • Introduction to referencing software
  • Helping to keep you up to date with research
  • Arranging 1-1 sessions at a mutually convenient time. These may be conducted in person, via email, over the phone, or online via Skype.

We cannot offer help in the following areas:

  • Conduct your literature search(es) for you
  • Offer any qualitative assessment of references found through a literature search
  • Write or proof-read your assignments
  • Offer an opinion on any mark that you might receive for your written work
  • Become involved in decisions relating to academic regulations, such as extenuating circumstances.

To make an appointment contact asc@contacts.bham.ac.uk 

If you would like more information on skills such as academic writing, effective learning, note taking and presentation skills, please see the  Academic Skills Centre.

There is also advice for students with additional needs on the Disability and Learning Support site.